In November 1995, I went to Dehradun with Tarun Tejpal to photograph Allan Sealy. We found a writer so removed from our Delhi world, we were metro air... he even took us for a walk into the forest he knows well. Last week, I found Allan in the same home—except he has a new kitchen, some additions to the terrace, a lovingly produced garden, and a computer. He’s still particular about using the right word...alchemy or allegory.... That first piece was titled
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. All the people in the following pages—all people we have profiled once, and now go back to—know something of the tenacious desire to speak, and be heard, in their very individual languages. Gaddar has a bullet lodged in his spine, Asghari Bai has known desperate poverty...but when she sings at 104 years, to a family she can’t recognise anymore, in a voice that’s barely a breath, one simply has to listen.